Anastasia Sniderhan

    Anastasia Sniderhan

    PhD student, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University (Supervisor: Jennifer Baltzer)

    Thesis Topic: Growth dynamics of black spruce (Picea mariana) across northwestern North America

    Ana is studying the growth dynamics of black spruce (Picea mariana) from treeline to treeline – aka across its latitudinal extent in northwestern Canada. Black spruce is an iconic boreal tree species, and rapid warming and consequently permafrost thaw is resulting in dramatic changes to the boreal forest. The goal of this research is to use tree-ring studies to understand how these climatic and landscape changes have affected black spruce growth over time. In addition to this work, she has performed an investigation of trait plasticity among five black spruce seed sources spanning the extent of this species through a common garden study here at WLU. In this experiment, soil nutrient availability and CO2 concentrations were manipulated to assess responses to these impacts of climate change. Overall, this work will contribute to understanding the resilience of black spruce under historical and future conditions.


    • Sniderhan AE, McNickle GG, and Baltzer JL. Trait plasticity in seedlings of black spruce (Picea mariana) from across western Canada in a common garden experiment. In prep.
    • Sniderhan AE and Baltzer JL. Growth dynamics of black spruce (Picea mariana) in a rapidly-thawing discontinuous permafrost peatland. Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, in review.
    • Baltzer, JL, Veness, T, Sniderhan, AE, Chasmer, LE, and Quinton, WL (2014) Forests on thawing permafrost: fragmentation, edge effects, and net forest loss. Global Change Biology, 20: 824-834.

    Awards and Scholarships

    • Ontario Graduate Scholarship Recipient, 2014 & 2015